My pockets lookin’ kinda tight, and I’m stressed

Posted by The Narrative May 12th, 2010

Narrativeyo

WHOA, WHO’S THAT?  THE NARRATIVE?  WHAAAAAAAT DAWGZ?!!!!  THAT’S CRAZY!!!

Yea, we’re still alive.

We’ve got a lot of stuff cookin’.  We’re leaving for tour tomorrow.  Our upcoming full length is in its final stages of mastering.  Charlie is wearing adult diapers.  He says it’s a back brace, but I’ve suspected for a while now he was heading down the adult diaper road.

I’m kind of a big Paramore fan.  I’m not really a closet Paramore fan, because I’m totally ok with it because I think they’re awesome, but I feel like I might be the kind of Paramore fan you might not suspect is a Paramore fan, and that gets me a little nervous about talking about it.

Anyway, I hadn’t spun their last record too much.  I guess I couldn’t fit it into my busy schedule of losing sneakers to my dog and wondering whether or not the guy who begs for change by my subway stop every day makes more money than me (I’m almost positive he does, it’s a prime location).  I happened to decide to sit down with it over the last week or so and have to say I dig it pretty hard.  For me, it doesn’t quite stand up to either of their other releases catchy-wise, but at the same time some of the songs blow any of that stuff out of the water musically.

I don’t know why that was a subject I felt the need to discuss.  It’s not like Paramore is reading my crappy blog.

Paramore---Brand-New-Eyes-Cd-Cover-16195

I guess as someone who loves music and is a fan of it, there is that side of me that just wants to talk about it and forget that I’m in the business of it at all.  Being part of the music business can make you blind to being outside of it, and that’s where the real beauty is.  If I can get a chance every so often to just sit back and listen to good music, I can feel good about being frustrated by being a musician every now and then.

I’m kind of excited for the release of our record, but selfishly.  At this point, I’ve listened to the damn thing so many times it drives me nuts to really think about it, and I’m kind of over it… which is sickening because nobody has heard it except us and a couple of other people.  Then again, it’s not really my job to be a fan of my own music, but I remember a time when I appreciated these songs way more than I’m capable of right now, and I hope to get back to that.  If you inspect something you created for long enough, you learn how to tear it apart.  Maybe it’s a good thing, because I’m stoked on some new stuff I’ve been writing, which are essentially lessons learned from past mistakes.  At the same time, though, I’m really hoping people will dig the new tunes and remind me of what I loved about them, at least for a little while.

As for writing new stuff, I’ve been pretty busy.  I feel really good about a bunch of it, but it all feels way different from anything else I’ve ever written… well, 90% of it anyway.  It’s in the semi-distant future, but I’m interested to see how these things develop when we write as a band.  I’ve been using Record to make some bare bones demos of them and passing them around, so before we step in a room everyone will have a good idea of what the skeleton is… which hopefully will give us a one up.

They don’t pay me to blog about Record, and as far as I know we’ve never even been instructed to.  They actually don’t fucking pay me at all, so I don’t even know why I mentioned pay.  But anyway, nobody sits around and tells me what to blog about it, but we got a bunch of free shit through this whole ordeal, and I feel kind of obligated to talk about the things I have experience with, because I only have positive things to say.

First off, I’m no pro engineer… I don’t really know my way around a pro tools rig or logic.  I’ve used garage band a few times.  As far as I’m concerned, using Record has been pretty intuitive.  I’m not quite ready to engineer my own record, but it’s nice to know I can sit down and polish a demo up if I need to.  At this point, I’ve recorded about 11 tracks where it’s just me and an acoustic guitar.  On a couple of tracks I’ve recorded some extra vocal parts or guitar lines.  In the past, I’ve laid down multiple guitar tracks and synth parts while just experimenting, and I know that as I get ideas they’re easy to plug in and make work.  It’s also a ton of fun to sit behind the mixer.  As far as what I need in a recording program, I had been looking for something like this for a while, and not being a Mac user this was sort of a godsend for me.

On the same note, the Line 6 UX2 has met any needs I have for plugging in.  I mean, for all the same reasons above that I’d need to do anything, this little box does whatever I want (and probably more).  Mics, guitars, keyboards.. no problem… and no latency (woo!).  My biggest complaint is that the casing is plastic, but they had to do SOMETHING to keep the cost so low (I think they’re only about $200 new).  If you’re reading this, Line 6 guys, people like heavy shit.  Maybe cheap sheet metal and like a 20 lb. weight in that cocksucker (sorry for the language, I’ve been watching a lot of Deadwood) would make people feel awesome about it!  Just a suggestion.  I’m digging myself a hole here, aren’t I?

As far as the KRK speakers… I’ve only heard them a few times.  They reside with Charles.  But they sound great.  I know Charles was looking for some new speakers for a while, and now he finally has a sweet sounding pair and he can dance all day in his depends.  They’ve got really solid definition with high end stuff without being harsh sounding, which I like in a speaker.

The other gear is dispersed amongst my bandmates and I haven’t even had the chance to play with them, but I did get a buttload of free magazines from Guitar Player and company.  I dig guitar player magazine, but the real gems here for me have been the EQ issues they sent.  I’m way into learning about recording more because I feel it’s an area I’m really lacking in as a musician.

Suzie and I can both belt a little, but for the most part are pretty soft vocalists.  The first issue of EQ I cracked open had this article called “Tracking (almost) inaudible singers”.  This has been a bit of a hurdle in the studio at times, and now I’ve got some ammo to go in with next time around… though whether or not our producer shoots down our ideas is a different story altogether…

The same issue had an article about miking grand pianos.  We used a grand for the first time on the upcoming full length.  I wish I had this article before that.  Not that the song came out poorly (it’s really fucking good!), but I love experimenting with different ideas, and whereas I had ZERO ideas when we recorded, I would have had a ball driving my producer crazy with ideas had I read this article beforehand.

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That’s the issue I’m talking about… the Spoon article was pretty interesting, too…

Ok, that’s enough of me stroking off our sponsors.  I’m super appreciative of what they’ve done for us, though.  Slurp, slurp.

Whatever, I’m blabbing.  We’re off to Pittsburgh tomorrow.  Stay tuned for more updates, and our next record which is coming REAL soon.

-Jesse

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